Ko Lipe is one of Thailand’s beautiful islands and many say it is the most beautiful one. For this reason Ko Lipe has been nicknamed “Thailand’s Maldives”.
Just like other quality locations in Thailand such as Hua Hin, Khao Lak and others; Ko Lipe is not well known amongst Israeli tourists, but don’t let this fact mislead you. This island is well known and popular with many tourists around the world and in the season it is so crowded with tourists that a hotel room can be pretty hard to find if not booked in advance.
Ko Lipe is every tropical islands lover’s dream – one of nature’s miracles with many great beaches, soft white sands and beautiful clear turquoise waters. Snorkeling sites can be found right near the beach, as well as plenty of resorts, shops, restaurants, massages and lively nightlife in the pubs on the beach.
In this article I will focuse on Ko Lipe island and its surroundings – beaches, resorts, nearby islands, snorkeling, restaurants, pubs, nightlife and more. ** I will discuss means of transportation to Ko Lipe and the nearby islands in another article.
Beaches in Ko Lipe island:
There are 3 main beaches in Ko Lipe on which we will elaborate here, as well as some other small isolated beaches.
The 3 main beaches are: Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach and Sunset Beach.
It is a small island with connecting trails between the beaches. It is about a 15 minute walk from one beach to the other. It’s also possible to use the local taxi service, which is basically a motorbike with a sidecar.
These 3 beaches differ in their nature and atmosphere so that every visitor can find the right beach to meet their needs and expectations. Below is a short review of the 3 beaches:
Pattaya Beach: This is where the first resorts were built on the island and it is still considered to be the central and most vibrant beach.
Pattaya beach is considered the best in Ko Lipe, it is located on a bay and is relatively sheltered from winds and waves even after the holiday season. It offers good snorkeling near the beach and soft white sand. Along the beach you may find a variety of restaurants, pubs and massages. You will also find the largest number of hotels and resorts and recently some larger upmarket hotels have also been built there.
All these advantages have turned Pattaya to the most active and busy beach in Ko Lipe. Most of the island’s nightlife is also located on this beach at the beginning of Walking Street. For those who look for a more vibrant atmosphere and meeting other tourists – Pattaya beach is the right place to visit.
Please take into consideration that during high season (November – April), this beach can be pretty crowded so that if you are looking for a quiet place you may prefer one of the island’s other beaches.
Sunrise Beach: as you can see on the attached map, Sunrise beach is spread out along the islands east coast and is subject to higher winds and waves during Monsoon season. As the name suggests – beautiful sunrises can be seen there.
This is a long beach strip on which many resorts have been built in the recent years offering lower costs than Pattaya beach resorts. Despite that, Sunrise beach is much calmer than Pattaya, and it is great for those looking for a relaxing but not an isolated beach.
Sunset Beach: a small beach facing the north-west ideal for sunset lovers. This beach development is much more spread out and it has a quiet relaxing atmosphere with pretty basic resorts and gives the feeling of nostalgic ‘old’ Ko Lipe. The stories say that in the few pubs on Sunset beach Reggae music is played and nude bathing is permitted – I did not check these stories and can’t be responsible for them.
Ko Lipe Nightlife: Ko Lipe’s nightlife is very vibrant although you will not find prostitution there. Most nightlife is found on Pattaya beach and on the street connecting between Pattaya and Sunrise beaches – Ko Lipe’s Walking Street.
On Walking Street you may find a large variety of different shops, travel agencies, diving centers, restaurants, pubs, massages, etc. This is a spectacular street crowded with tourists during the day and even more so during the evening and night time.
Another nightlife location in Ko Lipe is found at the beginning of Walking Street on Pattaya beach. This area is filled with many tourists every night, it offers lots of music, food, drink and magnificent fire shows.
Those looking for go-go clubs, drag queens, prostitutes etc. will not find them at Ko Lipe. All others will find a beautiful island with vibrant nightlife and never a dull moment.
Islands, Diving and Snorkeling: Ko Lipe is located in a marine nature reserve named Tarutao National Marine Park (but it is not under its jurisdiction). It is a part of Butang Archipelago.
Ko Lipe has scarcely been hit by the Tsunami and 25% of the world’s tropical fish can be found here. It is considered one of the best diving sites in south-east Asia. Ko Lipe’s calm beautiful clear blue sea waters and the 30 islands and hundreds of coral reefs surrounding it make it an ideal diving and snorkeling spot.
For an inexpensive cost you may rent a longtail boat which will take you to the magnificent beaches and diving and snorkeling sites all around the island. All the boats come with snorkeling equipment (included in the cost), but do not forget to bring some food and beverage for the way so you may enjoy a day of great snorkeling and a relaxing picnic on one of the marvelous beaches of the surrounding islands.
On the below video you can see plenty of pictures and clips from Ko Lipe and the surrounding area.
My goal is to open a door to tourists, showing them Thailand in a brighter, pleasant way – and Ko Lipe island is one of these places. For the same time it will take you to travel to one of the mediocre islands like Ko Chang, you can travel to Ko Lipe.
Click this link for an article showing how to get to Ko Lipe and the islands on the way.
As usual here is a video showing plenty of pictures and clips from Ko Lipe and the surrounding area.
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